‘There was one song that didn’t make the cut of the record, Adam had a fully fleshed out song with bass, guitars and vocals and everything that was just amazing. We just didn’t have enough time to work on it.’ Shaun Cooper, bassist of the legendary Taking Back Sunday explains to me about the creamy textured, heart provoking killer new album 152 recording process. An album that has ten killer tracks that one wonders just how good this lost song could be.
Fans will ask ‘though ‘not enough time, you’ve had seven years since Tidal Wave dropped’ however there are a multitude of reasons for the gap.
‘When we were working on the ‘Tidal Wave’ record we knew we wanted to tour that pretty extensively, and we knew that was going to lead into the 20-year anniversary of the band. So, we had a plan set around that there was gonna be a good amount of time and we felt positively that ‘Tidal Wave’ and the response it got. We wanted to make sure we had time to tour the globe and then going into the 20-year anniversary we knew we wanted to celebrate it cause its special moment. That was gonna take all of 2019.’
‘We also wanted to buy ourselves some time in 2020 to work on our record however the world had other plans for us, and we didn’t see each other for a year and a half. We would work on ideas separately but then the world started going again and we had to get back to touring and working.’
‘While on tour we would work on the record, so we would have a start/stop process between tours. We had to kinda figure out that process, which was kinda cool, we had never really done that before, days off on tour we’d go into a studio. We gotta keep the ball rolling so we went into a pretty prolific period of getting the album perfect. We think this is really intended to be an album of no filler. It’s gonna be worth the wait’.
This album, which has already dropped three singles in Amphetamine Smiles, S’old and The One, is produced by Tushar Apte, whom the band worked with when collaborating with Steve Aoki. It has created an album of dance floor classics, catchy choruses, and emotive lyrics.
‘It was a really natural process, we are all fans of pop music and I think it’s really had time to work its way into our sound. I don’t’ know exactly how it happened but Tushar played a huge part of that. The sonic textures he added to the mixes, he added so much to the arrangement and the songs. Musically what he does is so cool and what he added so the song writing of Taking Back Sunday, that you’ve known over all these years, the same four guys, but now we’ve grown and matured and refined our craft. We’ve added these elements of newness from Tushar that we wanted to embrace.’
Another big change is guitarist Eddie Reyes’s departure from the band however Cooper is pragmatic and diplomatic about the situation.
‘It was not an easy thing, I don’t think it’s anything anyone really wanted but it happened. We’ve all worked together so long that we know what processes need to be done, so I think it didn’t really change the dynamic cause it’s the same guys working in a room, flushing out ideas, bouncing ideas of each other.’
‘We’ve always been so hellbent on becoming better musicians and song writers, so I think we’ve taken a whole lot of time to refine our craft individually so when it came time to get back together after all that time apart, we were a pretty well-oiled machine to work on this record.’
Other standout tracks on the album include I’m The Only One Who Knows You, Lightbringer and New Music Friday, all very different yet all still unmistakably Taking Back Sunday. So, with gigs lined up in the States and our own Good Things Festival before the turn of the year, talk turns to which songs will be performed live.
‘The goal in the States is to do full album play through in New York, Nashville and LA, so we want to make sure we have any of these songs ready to go on any given night. We feel so passionately about those songs, we feel that any of those songs could be singles. But what does the label think? So, when the record comes out what are people responding too and we will take cues for that for future singles.’
‘You’re right about ‘Lightbringer’, I thought that could’ve been a lead off single, I liked what Adam did with the lyrics, it really touched me. We want the songs to keep people fresh and on their toes so they don’t know what’s coming next.’
While down under, Shaun will visit his sister – who has moved here with her family – however sadly such is the bands schedule there won’t be enough time to explore much more of what the country offers. However, on the flip side for fans of Taking Back Sunday that is exciting news.
‘We have a bunch of things in the works, we are gonna tour the hell outta it. It’s just working it out, we’ve just done a pretty extensive summer tour all through America. We’ve a bunch of things coming with album play shows, then down to see you guys. Early in the new year we have some pretty exciting things coming up but we are gonna be everywhere.’
Interview By Iain McCallum
Taking Back Sunday’s 152 is out October 27. Pre-order HERE…
Catch Taking Back Sunday at Good Things Festival on the following dates, tickets HERE…